Anne Anderson (researcher)

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Anne Anderson
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Anne Barbara Michie Anderson

10 February 1937
Died11 February 1983 (aged 46)
OccupationReproductive physiologist

Anne Barbara Michie Anderson (10 February 1937 – 11 February 1983) was a Scottish reproductive physiologist, researcher, lecturer, and author. [1] Her major contributions were for her research in reproductive physiology. In the last decade of her life, she broadened this to encompass more about women’s health generally, including doing clinical trials and working with people focusing in on what would become evidence-based medicine.

Reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) is a surgical subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology that trains physicians in reproductive medicine addressing hormonal functioning as it pertains to reproduction as well as the issue of infertility. While most REI specialists primarily focus on the treatment of infertility, reproductive endocrinologists are trained to also evaluate and treat hormonal dysfunctions in females and males outside infertility. Reproductive endocrinologists have specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) before they undergo sub-specialty training (fellowship) in REI.

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research. Although all medicine based on science has some degree of empirical support, EBM goes further, classifying evidence by its epistemologic strength and requiring that only the strongest types can yield strong recommendations; weaker types can yield only weak recommendations. The term was originally used to describe an approach to teaching the practice of medicine and improving decisions by individual physicians about individual patients. Use of the term rapidly expanded to include a previously described approach that emphasized the use of evidence in the design of guidelines and policies that apply to groups of patients and populations. It has subsequently spread to describe an approach to decision-making that is used at virtually every level of health care as well as other fields.


Early life, education, early career

Anne Anderson was born in Forres, Scotland on 10 February 1937. She received her M.B. degree in 1960 from the University of Aberdeen and was awarded her M.D. from the same institution in 1965 for her basic science research on the birth process.

Forres town in Scotland, UK

Forres is a town and former royal burgh situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 25 miles (40 km) east of Inverness and 12 miles (19 km) west of Elgin. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions. There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are many historical artifacts and monuments within the town itself.

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, or in Latin: Medicinae Baccalaureus Baccalaureus Chirurgiae, are the two first professional degrees in medicine and surgery awarded upon graduation from medical school by universities in countries that follow the tradition of the United Kingdom (UK). The historical degree nomenclature suggests that they are two separate undergraduate degrees; however, in practice, they are usually treated as one and conferred together, and may also be awarded at graduate-level medical schools. In countries that follow the system in the United States, the equivalent medical degree is awarded as Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

University of Aberdeen university in Aberdeen, Scotland

The University of Aberdeen is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, making it Scotland's third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world. Today, Aberdeen is consistently ranked among the top 200 universities in the world and is ranked within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom. In the 2019 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, Aberdeen was ranked 31st in the world for impact on society. Aberdeen was also named the 2019 Scottish University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Work on birth process

Anderson moved to the Tenovus Institute in Cardiff alongside Professor Alec Turnbull with whom she had been working. In 1970, Anderson was appointed clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynecology at the Welsh National School of Medicine. [1] Anderson was awarded her Ph.D. in 1972, again for work focused around the birth process. [1] When Turnbull moved to the University of Oxford in 1973, Anderson moved with him and was appointed clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynecology. [1] In 1978, she was appointed University Lecturer at the University and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Reproductive Physiology in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. She was also appointed a fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford. [1]

Cardiff Capital and largest city of Wales

Cardiff is the capital of Wales, and its largest city. The eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom, it is Wales's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural institutions and Welsh media, and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales. At the 2011 census, the unitary authority area population was estimated to be 346,090, and the wider urban area 479,000. Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales with 21.3 million visitors in 2017. In 2011, Cardiff was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographic's alternative tourist destinations.

Cardiff University School of Medicine

The Cardiff University School of Medicine is the medical school of Cardiff University and is located in Cardiff, Wales, UK. Founded in 1893 as part of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it is the older of the two medical schools in Wales.

University of Oxford University in Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

In Oxford, Anderson continued her research the birth process in sheep and humans and also took on studies of the causes and management of preterm labor, gynecological endocrinology, and infertility. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] Anderson started one of the first menopause clinics in Oxford, within the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at John Radcliffe Hospital. In addition to doing her laboratory and clinical work, Anderson served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Endocrinology and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Infertility is the inability of a person, animal or plant to reproduce by natural means. It is usually not the natural state of a healthy adult, except notably among certain eusocial species.

Menopause when menstrual periods stop permanently

Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. Menopause typically occurs between 49 and 52 years of age. Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year. It may also be defined by a decrease in hormone production by the ovaries. In those who have had surgery to remove their uterus but still have ovaries, menopause may be considered to have occurred at the time of the surgery or when their hormone levels fell. Following the removal of the uterus, symptoms typically occur earlier, at an average of 45 years of age.

John Radcliffe Hospital Hospital in Oxford, England

The John Radcliffe Hospital is a large tertiary teaching hospital in Oxford, England and a leading centre for medical research. It is the main teaching hospital for Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, and incorporates the Oxford University Medical School. It forms part of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is named after John Radcliffe, an 18th-century physician and Oxford University graduate, who endowed the Radcliffe Infirmary, the main hospital for Oxford from 1770 until 1979.

In 1980, Anderson was elected chairman of the Blair Bell Research Society, and in 1981 she was elected as a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is professional association based in London, United Kingdom. Its members, including people with and without medical degrees, work in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G), that is, pregnancy, childbirth, and female sexual and reproductive health. The College has over 16,000 members in over 100 countries with nearly 50% of those residing outside the British Isles.

Later work

Anderson had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition (1983) of Women’s Problems in General Practice with Ann McPherson. [9] Anne also contributed to Effectiveness and Satisfaction in Antenatal Care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers, and was discussing, with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers, the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on Effective Care in Labour and Delivery. [10] [11] However, Anderson's illness and premature death from breast cancer at age 46 ended her involvement. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anderson. [12] Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of a similar project for all of medicine and health, the Cochrane Collaboration.

Ann McPherson British doctor

Ann McPherson CBE FRCGP FRCP SCH was a British general practitioner, author, health campaigner and communicator who co-founded The DIPEx Charity and founded Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.

Murray Enkin Canadian obstetrician

Murray W. Enkin is a Canadian obstetrician, professor, and author, who has contributed to the fields of maternal care and evidence-based medicine.

Iain Chalmers British medical researcher

Sir Iain Geoffrey Chalmers is a British health services researcher, one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration, and coordinator of the James Lind Initiative, which includes the James Lind Library and James Lind Alliance.


The Anne Anderson Award is presented each year by the Cochrane Collaboration. [13] Recipients are women and are selected based on emotional and cognitive intelligence, serving as an inspiration to others, evidence of cumulative accomplishment, originality and independence of thought, personal qualities, team building, leadership and mentorship. The recipient of the Anne Anderson Award receives a plaque from the Cochrane Collaboration honoring her contributions. The cash award of $3000 USD is designated by the recipient to assist one woman from a low resource setting with her Cochrane Collaboration activities.

Related Research Articles

Miscarriage natural death of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive independently

Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss, is the natural death of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive independently. Some use the cutoff of 20 weeks of gestation, after which fetal death is known as a stillbirth. The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding with or without pain. Sadness, anxiety and guilt often occur afterwards. Tissue and clot-like material may leave the uterus and pass through and out of the vagina. When a woman keeps having miscarriages, infertility is present.

Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is a symptom of pregnancy that involves nausea or vomiting. Despite the name, nausea or vomiting can occur at any time during the day. Typically these symptoms occur between the 4th and 16th week of pregnancy. About 10% of women still have symptoms after the 20th week of pregnancy. A severe form of the condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and results in weight loss.

Cochrane (organisation) British nonprofit for reviews of medical research

Cochrane is a British charity formed to organise medical research findings so as to facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventions faced by health professionals, patients, and policy makers. Cochrane includes 53 review groups that are based at research institutions worldwide. Cochrane has approximately 30,000 volunteer experts from around the world.

Preterm birth birth at less than a specified gestational age

Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is the birth of a baby at fewer than 37 weeks' gestational age. These babies are known as preemies or premies. Symptoms of preterm labor include uterine contractions which occur more often than every ten minutes or the leaking of fluid from the vagina. Premature infants are at greater risk for cerebral palsy, delays in development, hearing problems and sight problems. These risks are greater the earlier a baby is born.

Gestational diabetes condition in which a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally results in few symptoms; however, it does increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, depression, and requiring a Caesarean section. Babies born to mothers with poorly treated gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being too large, having low blood sugar after birth, and jaundice. If untreated, it can also result in a stillbirth. Long term, children are at higher risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.

Gestational trophoblastic disease

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a term used for a group of pregnancy-related tumours. These tumours are rare, and they appear when cells in the womb start to proliferate uncontrollably. The cells that form gestational trophoblastic tumours are called trophoblasts and come from tissue that grows to form the placenta during pregnancy.

Tocolytics are medications used to suppress premature labor. Tocolytic therapy is provided when delivery would result in premature birth, postponing delivery long enough for the administration of glucocorticoids, which accelerate fetal lung maturity but may take one to two days before its effects are seen.

Pregnancy time when children develop inside the mothers body before birth

Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. A multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with twins. Pregnancy can occur by sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology. Childbirth typically occurs around 40 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP). This is just over nine months, where each month averages 31 days. When measured from fertilization it is about 38 weeks. An embryo is the developing offspring during the first eight weeks following fertilization, after which, the term fetus is used until birth. Symptoms of early pregnancy may include missed periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, hunger, and frequent urination. Pregnancy may be confirmed with a pregnancy test.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration. Feeling faint may also occur. It is considered more severe than morning sickness. Symptoms often get better after the 20th week of pregnancy but may last the entire pregnancy duration.

Endometritis inflammation of inner lining of uterus

Endometritis is inflammation of the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium). Symptoms may include fever, lower abdominal pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge. It is the most common cause of infection after childbirth. It is also part of spectrum of diseases that make up pelvic inflammatory disease.

Maternal–fetal medicine branch of medicine that focuses on managing health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy

Maternal–fetal medicine (MFM) is a branch of medicine that focuses on managing health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy.

Peter C. Gøtzsche is a Danish physician, medical researcher, and former leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration and has written numerous reviews for the organization. His membership of Cochrane was terminated by its Governing Board of Trustees on September 25, 2018.

The Goulstonian Lectures are an annual lecture series given on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians in London. They began in 1639. The lectures are named for Theodore Goulston, who founded them with a bequest. By his will, dated 26 April 1632, he left £200 to the College of Physicians of London to found a lectureship, to be held in each year by one of the four youngest doctors of the college. These lectures were annually delivered from 1639, and have continued for more than three centuries. Up to the end of the 19th century, the spelling Gulstonian was often used. In many cases the lectures have been published.

Perineal tear Childbirth related injury

A perineal tear is a laceration of the skin and other soft tissue structures which, in women, separate the vagina from the anus. Perineal tears mainly occur in women as a result of vaginal childbirth, which strains the perineum. It the most common form of obstetric injury. Tears vary widely in severity. The majority are superficial and may require no treatment, but severe tears can cause significant bleeding, long-term pain or dysfunction. A perineal tear is distinct from an episiotomy, in which the perineum is intentionally incised to facilitate delivery. Episiotomy, a very rapid birth, or large fetal size can lead to more severe tears which may require surgical intervention.

Alessandro Liberati was an Italian healthcare researcher and clinical epidemiologist, and founder of the Italian Cochrane Centre.

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) is a multi-disciplinary research unit within the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University. Their work involves randomized controlled trials, national surveillance programs and surveys and other research on maternal and infant health and care in the perinatal period. The early work of the NPEU in developing a register of perinatal trials and methods for synthesizing their results lay the foundations for the Cochrane Collaboration.

Evidence-based research (EBR) is "the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it is answering questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner". According to EBR, any new study should be informed by systematically examining existing evidence to determine the study's need, design, and methods. In addition, results of a study should be placed in context by incorporating them in a systematic review of similar earlier studies.

Rebekah Gee is an American physician and public health policy expert who serves as the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. Gov. John Bel Edwards named Gee secretary of LDH in January 2016. Prior to her role as secretary, Gee was the Medicaid medical director. Before that, she served as the director for the Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 BMJ (1983). "Obituary". BMJ. 286: 1068–1070. doi:10.1136/bmj.286.6370.1068.
  2. Anderson, AB; Webb, R; Turnbull, AC (1981). "Oestrogens and parturition". J Endocrinol. 89 Suppl: 103P–117P. PMID   7017055.
  3. Anderson, AB; Haynes, PJ; Fraser, IS; Turnball, AC (1978). "Trial of prostaglandin-synthetase inhibitors in primary dysmenorrhoea". Lancet. 311 (8060): 345–348. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(78)91077-2. PMID   75391.
  4. Anderson, AB; Sklovsky, E; Sayers, L; Steele, PA; Turnbull, AC (1978). "Comparison of serum oestrogen concentrations in post-menopausal women taking oestrone sulphate and oestradiol". Br Med J. 1 (6106): 140–142. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.6106.140. PMC   1602815 . PMID   620226.
  5. Anderson, AB; Gennser, G; Jeremy, JY; Ohrlander, S; Sayers, L; Turnbull, AC (1977). "Placental transfer and metabolism of betamethasone in human pregnancy". Obstet Gynecol. 49 (4): 471–474. PMID   857211.
  6. Anderson, AB; Haynes, PJ; Guillebaud, J; Turnbull, AC (1976). "Reduction of menstrual blood-loss by prostaglandin-synthetase inhibitors". Lancet. 307 (7963): 774–776. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(76)91612-3. PMID   56590.
  7. Anderson, AB; Flint, AP; Turnbull, AC (1975). "Mechanism of action of glucocorticoids in induction of ovine parturition: effect on placental steroid metabolism". J Endocrinol. 66 (1): 61–70. doi:10.1677/joe.0.0660061. PMID   1172518.
  8. Turnbull, AC; Patten, PT; Flint, AP; Keirse, MJ; Jeremy, JY; Anderson, AB (1974). "Significant fall in progesterone and rise in oestradiol levels in human peripheral plasma before onset of labour". Lancet. 303 (7848): 101–103. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(74)92337-x. PMID   4130306.
  9. McPherson, Ann; Anderson, Anne (1983). Women’s Problems in General Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  10. Enkin, M; Chalmers, I (1982). Effectiveness and Satisfaction in Antenatal Care. Clinics in Developmental Medicine series no. 81-82. London: Heinemann Medical Books. ISBN   978-0901260598.
  11. Reynolds, LA; Tansey, EM (2005). "Prenatal Corticosteroids for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality after Preterm Birth" (PDF). Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  12. Chalmers, I; Enkin, M; Keirse, MJNC (1989). Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0192615589.
  13. "Anne Anderson Award". The Cochrane Collaboration. 26 October 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.